Instead of presenting these three narrative layers in chronological order, Von Doviak cuts constantly from one to the other...

CHARLESGATE CONFIDENTIAL

Wondering who pulled off the never-solved 1990 heist at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which netted the thieves the richest haul still unrecovered in the history of art theft? Von Doviak’s waggish debut has the answer to this question—and much, much more.

In 1946, according to Von Doviak, two fake cops who gained admittance to the museum late one night along with their confederates make off with a collection of 13 artworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and more, worth an estimated $500 million. Despite intensive investigation and a well-publicized, high-figure reward, the case remains unsolved in 1986, when Tommy Donnelly, a student living in Emerson College’s Charlesgate student residence, a former hotel with a colorful history, sets out to write Charlesgate Confidential, a history of the place, and swiftly finds links between the Charlesgate, which in its day hosted everything from Jimmy Dryden’s stable of prostitutes (sixth floor) to Dave T’s high-stakes poker game (eighth floor) and the storied robbery. The most intriguing link: Days before the robbery, three gunmen swooped down on Dave T’s, made off with the proceeds, and returned shortly after the robbery to execute Fat Dave, the Red Room Lounge bartender who identified them to their victim, whom he calls "Other Dave," leading to the conscription of one of the gunmen as a fake cop in the museum robbery and his violent death. In 2014—are you still following this?—a reunion of Tommy Donnelly’s Emerson class spearheaded by classmate Jackie St. John digs even deeper into the past, which has now gotten pretty doggone deep.

Instead of presenting these three narrative layers in chronological order, Von Doviak cuts constantly from one to the other in a wildly inventive fantasia spiced with frequent revelations of new crimes and new solutions. The only downside: The last round of revelations doesn’t carry any more weight than the others.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78565-717-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hard Case Crime

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on...

MYSTIC RIVER

After five adventures for Boston shamus Patrick Kenzie and his off-again lover Angela Gennaro (Prayers for Rain, 1999, etc.), Lehane tries his hand at a crossover novel that’s as dark as any of Patrick’s cases.

Even the 1975 prologue is bleak. Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus are playing, or fighting, outside Sean’s parents’ house in the Point neighborhood of East Buckingham when a car pulls up, one of the two men inside flashes a badge, and Sean and Jimmy’s friend Dave Boyle gets bundled inside, allegedly to be driven home to his mother for a scolding but actually to get kidnapped. Though Dave escapes after a few days, he never really outlives his ordeal, and 25 years later it’s Jimmy’s turn to join him in hell when his daughter Katie is shot and beaten to death in the wilds of Pen Park, and State Trooper Sean, just returned from suspension, gets assigned to the case. Sean knows that both Dave and Jimmy have been in more than their share of trouble in the past. And he’s got an especially close eye on Jimmy, whose marriage brought him close to the aptly named Savage family and who’s done hard time for robbery. It would be just like Jimmy, Sean knows, to ignore his friend’s official efforts and go after the killer himself. But Sean would be a lot more worried if he knew what Dave’s wife Celeste knows: that hours after catching sight of Katie in the last bar she visited on the night of her death, Dave staggered home covered with somebody else’s blood. Burrowing deep into his three sorry heroes and the hundred ties that bind them unbearably close, Lehane weaves such a spellbinding tale that it’s easy to overlook the ramshackle mystery behind it all.

An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on his characters’ heads.

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-16316-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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